Reopening: When can my business reopen?

Coronavirus Local Impact


BOSTON ( – The following detailed commentary provides guidance for industries on the reopening plan as of June 11, 2020.

The following detailed commentary is related to the Executive Orders signed by Governor Baker on May 18, 2020, and June 1, 2020. This document is intended to provide additional information on businesses and activities summarized in the Reopening Massachusetts report.  This is not an exhaustive list of all possible businesses that will be authorized open in each phase.  The list may be updated from time to time.

For additional information please visit the Reopening Massachusetts website

Unless otherwise stated, businesses expected to be authorized to re-open in future phases will be subject to certain limitations and guidelines that will be provided at a later date.  These limitations and guidelines will include a variety of mandatory context-specific COVID-19 safety measures such as occupancy limitations, operational modifications, social distancing rules, and specialized cleaning requirements.  All businesses are required to follow Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards and Sector specific safety protocols and best practices. 

All of this information is subject to revision based on the latest public health data.  Each phase will last at least three weeks, but could last longer, depending on the public health data.  Each phase may contain multiple steps that stagger the reopening dates for businesses and activities within that phase.


All businesses deemed essential by previous orders: Currently allowed

Banks: Currently allowed

Financial services: Currently allowed

In house services (such as nannies, babysitting): Currently allowed

Real estate open houses: Currently allowed with restrictions

Construction: Phase 1 – May 18

Firearm retailers and shooting ranges: Phase 1 – May 18

Home remodeling: Phase 1 – May 18

  • All construction businesses, please refer to detailed guidance for reopening (includes guidance for remodeling in 1-3 family residences)

In home installations:

  • Phase 1 – May 18, construction related; Construction related – e.g., painting, repairs, etc.
  • Phase 2 – non construction related; Non construction related – e.g., carpet installation, home theaters, security systems

Manufacturing: Phase 1 – May 18

Places of worship: Phase 1 – May 18

Auto dealers and wholesalers:

  • Phase 1 – May 25 for curbside pickup and delivery only; Follow guidelines for non-essential retail and car dealerships found in the Essential Services FAQ
  • Phase 2 – browsing inside the showroom with restrictions; Please refer to retail guidance for Phase 2

Car washes: Phase 1 – May 25

Drive-in movie theaters: Phase 1 – May 25

Hair salons / barbershops: Phase 1 – May 25

  • Please refer to detailed guidance for reopening, including requirement that salons must limit services to hair services performed on the head. Services on the face or other parts of the body are prohibited and limit services to one client per worker per appointment (workers are not permitted to service more than one client appointment at a time).

General office spaces:

  • Phase 1 – May 25 except City of Boston
  • Phase 1 – June 1 City of Boston
  • Please refer to detailed guidance for reopening

Lab space: Phase 1 – May 25

Libraries: Phase 1 – May 25 for curbside pickup and delivery only

Pet grooming: Phase 1 – May 25

Retail Stores, including stores in malls

  • Phase 1 – May 25 for curbside pickup and delivery only
  • Phase 2 – browsing inside the store with restrictions
  • Please refer to detailed guidance for reopening in Phase 2


  • Hotel & Restaurants – Phase 2
  • Gaming floors – Phase 3
  • Theaters / arenas – Phase 3/4
  • Casinos and hotels attached to them should follow the guidelines for each section of the property (e.g. hotel, restaurants, etc.).

Horse racing tracks and simulcast facilities (no spectators): Phase 3

Driving schools: Currently allowed to offer classroom instruction online

  • Phase 2 – behind-the-wheel training

Occupational Schools: Phase 2 – for the limited purposes of permitting students to complete a degree, program, or prerequisite for employment, or other similar requirement for completion

Hotels, motels, inns, and other short-term lodgings: Currently open to provide services to essential workers and vulnerable populations.

  • Phase 2 – reopen to serve other guests with restrictions
  • Please refer to detailed guidance for reopening

Personal services that don’t involve close personal contact (such as photography, window washers, career coaching): Phase 2

Close contact personal services (such as massage therapy, nail salons, tattoo parlors, electrolysis studios): Phase 2 – Step 2

Personal trainers: Phase 2 – as a close contact personal service in Step 2

  • Appointment-only training with only one customer (or two from the same household) allowed in the facility at a time


  • Phase 1 – can continue to offer takeout and delivery options
  • Phase 2 – outdoor seating permitted in Step 1, indoor seating permitted in Step 2
  • Please refer to detailed guidance for reopening

Amusement parks, theme parks, indoor or outdoor water parks: Phase 4

Fitness centers and health clubs: Phase 3


  • cardio/weight rooms/locker rooms/inside facilities
  • fitness studios (yoga, barre, cross-fit, spin classes, general fitness studios)
  • locker rooms/shower rooms
  • indoor common areas
  • indoor swimming pools
  • indoor racquet courts and gymnasiums
  • excluding saunas, hot-tubs, steam rooms

See entries on ‘outdoor fitness classes,’ ‘personal trainers,’ and ‘Saunas, hot-tubs, steam rooms’ for more information

Saunas, hot-tubs, steam rooms at health clubs, gyms, and other facilities: Phase 4

Movie theatres:

  • Phase 3 – moderate capacity
  • Phase 4 – large capacity

Museums: Phase 3

Aquariums: Phase 3

Theaters and performance venues (such as concert halls) of moderate capacity:

  • Phase 3 – both indoor and outdoor
  • Large performance venues will open in Phase 4 following guidance for other large venues.

Large capacity venues used for group or spectator events (such as theaters and concert halls, ballrooms, stadiums and arenas, dance floors, exhibition and convention halls, private party rooms): Phase 4

Flight schools: Phase 2

Beer gardens / breweries / wineries / distilleries:

  • Phase 2: if providing seated food service under retail food permits issued by municipal authorities
  • Phase 4: if not providing seated food service under retail food permits issued by municipal authorities
  • Please refer to detailed guidance for reopening in Phase 2

Bars, dance clubs, and nightclubs: Phase 4

Non-athletic instructional classes in arts / education / life skills:

  • Phase 2 – youths under 18 years of age, in groups of fewer than 10
  • Phase 3 – people of all ages

Funeral homes: Phase 2

  • 40% capacity limit; one service at a time in the facility

Warehouses and distribution centers: Phase 2

Weddings/events/large gatherings in parks, reservations, and open spaces: Phase 3 – with moderate capacity

Motion picture, television and streaming production: Phase 3

  • Activities that have been authorized to reopen in earlier phases (e.g. office work, construction) may open in those phases

Fraternal Orders:

  • Phase 2 if providing seated service of food prepared on-site under retail food permits issued by municipal authorities, following restaurant protocols (outdoor table service is permitted as of June 8, and indoor table service will be permitted in step 2)
  • Phase 4 if serving as a large capacity venue used for group or spectator events
  • Phase 4 if serving as a bar
  • All other uses are subject Covid-19 Order No. 38, which limits gatherings in enclosed indoor or outdoor spaces to 10 people.

Recreation & outdoors

Beaches: Open with restrictions in Phase 1 – May 25

  • Please refer to detailed guidance for reopening

Golf: Currently allowed with restrictions

Golf facilities including outdoor driving ranges: Phase 2

Parks: Services/facilities will reopen in Phase 1 – May 25

Fishing, hunting and boating: Phase 1 – May 25

Outdoor adventure activities (including ski area summer activities, zip-lines, and mountain biking): Phase 1 – May 25

Outdoor gardens, zoos, reserves and public installations: Phase 1 – May 25

Outdoor theatres and performance venues: Phase 3 – moderate capacity venues

Camps including sports and arts camps:

  • Phase 2 – recreational day camps
  • Phase 3 – overnight camps
  • Please refer to detailed guidance for reopening

Limited organized youth and adult amateur sports programs and activities:

  • Phase 2 – outdoor only for adults, indoor for supervised youth programs and activities
  • Phase 3 – indoor and outdoor for all ages

Professional sports practice and training programs: Phase 2

Other outdoor recreational facilities (pools, playgrounds, spray decks, mini golf, go karts, batting cages, climbing walls): Phase 2

Indoor recreational and athletic facilities for general use (not limited to youth programs): Phase 3

Other indoor recreation (such as batting cages, driving ranges, go karts, bowling alleys, arcades, laser tag, roller skating rinks, trampolines, rock-climbing): Phase 3

Sightseeing and other organized tours (bus tours, duck tours, harbor cruises, whale watching): Phase 3

Outdoor historical spaces / sites: Phase 2

Indoor historic spaces / sites: Phase 3

Cruise ships: N/A; Operating under federal guidance, No Sail order currently in effect

Outdoor fitness classes: Phase 1 – May 25

Fishing and hunting tournaments and other amateur or professional derbies: Phase 3

Street Festivals, Parades and Agricultural Festivals: Phase 4

Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events: Phase 4

Overview of Four-Phase Approach

The goal of the phased reopening plan is to methodically allow businesses, services, and activities to resume, while avoiding a resurgence of COVID-19 that could overwhelm our healthcare system and erase the progress we’ve made so far.

  • Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks and could last longer before moving to the next phase
  • If public health data trends are negative, specific industries, regions, and/or the entire Commonwealth may need to return to an earlier phase
  • The Commonwealth will partner with industries to draft Sector-Specific Protocols in advance of future phases (example: restaurant specific protocols will be drafted in advance of Phase 2)
  • If we all work together to defeat COVID-19, we can proceed through each phase

Four phases to reopening

Four-phase approach: Stay at Home / Phase 1: Start / Phase 2: Cautious / Phase 3: Vigilant / Phase 4: New Normal

  • Stay at Home. ​Essential business and services only.
  • Phase 1: Start. ​Limited industries resume operations with severe restrictions.
  • Phase 2: Cautious. ​Additional industries resume operations with restrictions and capacity limitations.
  • Phase 3: Vigilant. ​Additional industries resume operations with guidance.
  • Phase 4: New Normal. ​Development of vaccines and / or treatments enable resumption of “new normal”.

General Business Downloads and Resources

Information to help businesses meet the self-certification requirement to reopen. All businesses must meet these requirements before reopening.

  • COVID-19 control plan template – Template that satisfies the written control plan requirement for self-certification
  • Compliance attestation poster – Poster that businesses are required to print, sign, and post in an area within the business premises that is visible to workers and visitors
  • Employer and Worker posters – Posters that businesses can print and display within the business premises to describe the rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, and cleaning and disinfecting

Additional Resources

Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces

General business guidance documents and translations

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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